Report: MLB official believed Manfred didn't want Hernandez in WS
A Major League Baseball official testified that he believed that commissioner Rob Manfred didn't want veteran umpire Angel Hernandez working the 2015 World Series, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
The official's testimony was offered during the pretrial discovery phase of Hernandez's racial discrimination lawsuit.
In October 2015, umpire supervisor Steve Palermo recommended that Hernandez work that year's World Series in an email to umpiring director Randy Marsh. Joe Torre, MLB's chief baseball officer, was copied on the email along with MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Peter Woodfork.
Shortly after receiving the email, Woodfork texted Torre, stating that Manfred would not approve of Hernandez umpiring the World Series. He also forwarded the email to another member of MLB's front office and wrote: "Four new umpires and the guy in the middle of the largest debacle," presumably referring to Hernandez.
Woodfork had previously testified that he didn't remember Manfred saying he did not want Hernandez to work the World Series.
"I took a presumption on the situation," he said in June, per The Associated Press.
Hernandez, who has umpired in the majors since 1993, sued MLB during the 2017 season, alleging that he was passed over for World Series assignments and a promotion to crew chief due to racial discrimination. He's umpired in two World Series during his career, but none since 2005, and has only been a crew chief on an interim basis.
Shortly after he filed the suit, Hernandez was picked to umpire the 2017 All-Star Game. He was also a crew member for the division series in both 2018 and 2019.
The 58-year-old has often generated controversy over his career. He was roundly criticized during the 2018 American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, with then-Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia saying that Hernandez "shouldn't be anywhere near a playoff game."
Depositions in the Hernandez suit were reportedly filed Friday and Saturday in a Manhattan court. Hernandez has filed a motion for a partial summary judgement.
A document referenced in the case stated that only 7% of MLB umpires are minorities, according to The Associated Press. In February, Kerwin Danley became the league's first African-American crew chief. Mexican-born Alfonso Marquez also landed a crew chief position.